Although it is the second largest State in America, it was the first time a contingent from Texas visited Sydney, pinpointing Australia as a key market for growth following Qantas’ decision to commence direct flights to Dallas/ Fort Worth from May 16. Representatives from Texas Economic Development & Tourism, Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DWF) are meeting with trade partners this week to promote the State’s tourism offering to ensure Australians make the most of the new service and increase overnight visitation throughout the State. With some 50,000 Australians currently visiting Texas in 2009, Director of Texas Tourism, Julie Chase said the Government body expects to double arrivals by May 2012. “Australian visitors stay an average 24 days in USA, and we hope they spend some time in our State,” she said. Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO, Phillip Jones said they were currently discussing packages with local wholesalers, including Qantas Holidays, with a favourable response already received. “Dallas has access to everywhere, we are right in the middle,” Mr Jones said. “We are very familiar and comfortable for Australians, offering a lot of experiences and our unique stand-out is the tax-free shopping we offer international travellers.” Meanwhile, Ms Chase expects Austin to become a “huge hit for this market”, with hopes that after visitors arrive in Dallas and stay a few nights there, they venture forth to visit other key areas in the State. “The product in Texas is amazing. There’s so much you can do and experience just travelling around the State. It’s just that the product is a little unknown here,” she said. Ms Chase did not rule out the possibility of the tourism body opening a representation office in Australia, but said it would be planned following the success of the flights.Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the world’s third busiest, offering connections to 190 destinations nonstop and servicing 19 passenger airlines and 1800 daily flights. The airport greets some 56 million passengers annually, and is within 4 hours of every major city in USA. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.M
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J An increasing number of Australians are choosing to spend their vacation time enjoying Thailand’s sun and shopping with 17.1 percent more residents departing on short term trips to the country in the last month of 2011 compared to the corresponding month 2010.Thailand saw the largest increase in Aussie visitors for the month with up to 464 000 Australians crossing their shores while China welcomed the second largest jump with 15.7 percent more short term visitors from Australia in December last year compared to the corresponding month the prior year.According to Australian Bureau of Statics figures released this week, while India and Indonesia also welcomed increases of 12.4 percent and 12.3 percent for the same period, New Zealand continued to attract the largest number of Australian short term travellers with 967,000 visitors. The US, UK, Fiji and Vietnam also welcomed a jump in Aussie arrivals while Malaysia witnessing Australian inbound fall 0.1 percent to 209,000. In terms of short term visitor arrivals into Australia, China’s number jumped the highest with 15.5 percent more travellers trekking down under while Japan’s arrivals slowed by 6.9 percent. Quake disruptions may keep Japanese visitor numbers down but the strong Aussie dollar is playing its part in deterring travellers from the UK, with arrivals from England dropping 6.4 percent for the month of December compared to the same month last year.Earlier this month Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner said the par-on-par UK pound and Aussie dollar meant it was the perfect time for Australians to travel into the Great Britain.“The extra GBP1350 today’s traveller receives is effectively the cost of a return airfare,” he highlighted.For more information click here.
With school holidays upon us, the accommodation industry has urged Australian travellers to secure bookings before everything is snapped up.“Feedback from operators of accommodation businesses indicates a year-on-year increase in bookings which may mean that consumers will miss out if they don’t book early,” Accommodation Association of Australia chief Richard Munro said.Mr Munro said the rise in bookings comes on the back of businesses launching marketing campaigns and special offers.“It is a positive sign that the peak season is seeking growth, rather than just flattening out as part of the usual cyclical seasonal adjustment.”Throughout the rest of the nation, the results tend to be mixed, with some Tasmanian accommodation providers recording growth, while other operators are signifying a struggle in generating sales.Improved aviation access will play a vital role in stimulating growth according to the Accommodation Association chief.“Low-cost carriers enable more families to take a break within Australia, which helps boost the domestic economy, including domestic tourism, at a time when the industry really needs the boost,” Mr Munro said.“Looking ahead to other peak holiday periods later in the year, including the Christmas-New Year period, the accommodation industry suggests that Australians plan ahead.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T There is a need to identify and properly market the brand image of Sydney and New South Wales in order to regain market share, according to NSW Visitor Economy Taskforce (VET) member John King.Mr King addressed members and attendees at the SKÅL International meeting at the Swissôtel Sydney, while honouring the induction of new members Greg Urand, Rachel Pirie of StayWell Hospitality Group and Rebecca Fleming of Gow-Gates Group.“The brand image of Sydney is extremely weak,” Mr King said.“Three years ago there was a major effort undertaken to develop a brand for Sydney, probably some of the best research and brand strategy that I’d ever seen, unfortunately it was hijacked and all of a sudden became a marketing tagline, and once again the brand image of Sydney became very confused and dissipated.”Mr King said it was important to outline the primary imperatives the Government must undertake to increase the appeal of not only Sydney, but NSW as a whole.“When we asked people what it is that brings them to Sydney and NSW there is great ambivalence in terms of people’s understanding of the main attractions, experiences and key benefits of visiting,” he said.Mr King said research and feedback from around the state revealed only 16 percent of international visitors venture outside of Sydney, and in terms of interstate and intrastate visitation there has been a very steady decline.“We have really failed in the area of regional tourism,” he said.“The spending by visitors to our state impinges on the entire economy of the state.NSW regional tourism is still defining its priorities and developing action plans to combat poor performance. “The fact is that NSW has been performing very poorly in the last ten year’s compared with our competitor destinations, not only in Australia but beyond,” Mr King said.“When you look at our rural and regional areas around the state, many councils deny the fact that tourism is of great importance to them but we have been losing market share in domestic and international tourism over that ten year period.“We need to change the mindset of the state government of NSW.” Developing attractions, capacity and eventually visitor numbers falls upon the shoulders of the individual.“At the end of the day, what’s going to ensure the success of tourism and the capability of being able to double the value of overnight spend is entrepreneurship,” Mr King said.John King was appointed to the NSW Visitor Economy Taskforce in June this year and is chairman of the Australian Tourism Export Council. The VET’s role is to oversee the development of Government plans to double tourism in the state by 2020. John King chairman ATEC and member of VET
One of Bangkok’s many popular hotels. Thailand’s recovering accommodation sector has received immensely positive community feedback, according to a recent TripAdvisor ratings study.The average review rating of Thailand’s hotels and B&Bs was as high as it has ever been at 4.12 out of a possible 5, above the global average of 4.01.Thailand was also recognised as providing the cleanest accommodation, with a rating of 4.24 out of a possible 5, toppling Asia-Pacific competitors Indonesia (4.22), Australia (4.16), India (4.09) and Malaysia (3.95). Thai hotels and B&Bs garnered similar average ratings, 4.09 and 4.10 respectively.“One recent challenge Thailand’s hospitality industry has faced is the flooding that occurred last year. As we see from the TripAdvisor ratings study, Thailand’s hotels and B&Bs have bounced back and many are exceeding their guests’ expectations,” TripAdvisor for Business commercial director Lewis Ng said.Floods ravaged Thailand late last year, causing infrastructural damage and massive revenue reductions.“Thailand is a beautiful and resilient country with so much to offer to travellers,” Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Suraphon Svetasreni said.“We are honoured that the TripAdvisor community has given Thai properties such positive ratings – some of the highest in the world.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T.
Virgin Australia has applied for an allocation of 400 seats per week beyond Singapore to Colombo, Sri Lanka.In the application to the International Air Services Commission (IASC), the airline said flights would be serviced alongside airline partner, Singapore Airlines and would be allocated for a period of five years from the date of the determination.Virgin Australia is hoping to allocation will be fully utilised from 26 October this year.Meanwhile, the IASC has requested notice of intention to make an application for or against the request be submitted by close of business 27 March 2013 and final applications due by close of business 3 April 2013.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J. Virgin Australia hoping to add seatsto beyond Singapore to Colombo.
Qantas welcomes American Airlines’ state-of-the-art, flagship Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to Sydney on Friday, 13 November 2015, where American will show customers its award-winning on-board products.As part of the carriers’ expanded partnership announced in June 2015 American will operate the B777-300ER on its new daily, nonstop flight from Sydney to Los Angeles starting on 19 December 2015.“Our 777-300ER demonstrates the best American has to offer as we renew our fleet with a new plane every four days and make a $2 billion investment in the overall travel experience,” said Doug Parker, American’s Chairman and CEO.“It’s been more than 20 years since we’ve had service to Australia, and we’ve made incredible strides to make sure American offers a world-class product to important business and leisure customers.”Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce said he was excited to welcome Mr. Parker and the B777-300ER to Australia.“We are really looking forward to hosting American Airline’s flagship B777-300ER and celebrating the evolution of our relationship ahead of American’s inaugural Sydney-Los Angeles service and our return to San Francisco in December,” said Mr. Joyce.“Our expanded relationship with American Airlines is great news for customers of both airlines travelling across the Pacific and North America.“Together we provide a world class travel experience for anyone travelling to the US. This includes state-of-the-art aircraft to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Dallas/Fort Worth, unrivalled frequencies as well as coordinated schedules which allow seamless travel within the United States.”Showcasing the flagship aircraft in Australia for the first time, American will host an exclusive day of activities for invited guests at Sydney Airport, jointly hosted with its business partner, Qantas Airways.Invited aviation, corporate and sales agents will have the opportunity to tour the interior and experience the all-aisle access, fully lie-flat First and Business Class seats and view the walk-up bar in the premium cabins.Every seat, including Main Cabin and Main Cabin Extra, features personal, in-seat on-demand entertainment HD screens with up to 250 movies, 160 TV programs and more than 350 audio CDs, 20 games plus international Wi-Fi capability, universal AC power outlets and USB ports.American and Qantas Airways are significantly expanding their joint business by adding two new services between Australia and the U.S. New routes between Sydney (SYD) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) operated by American Airlines, begin on 19 December 2015.Qantas’ new service between Sydney and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), starting 18 December 2015, will provide customers with more options when traveling between the two countries. Fly QantasSource = Qantas
Air New Zealand to open expansive new Brisbane International LoungeAir New Zealand’s latest purpose-built, architecturally designed and significantly larger lounge will open its doors tomorrow at Brisbane International Airport.The new 771 square metre lounge caters for nearly 200 customers with 70 percent more seating than the previous lounge and offers a number of unique spaces which allow customers to tailor their experience.The Air New Zealand Lounge at Brisbane International Airport is in a prime position wrapping around the corner of the airport terminal, and features lofty ceilings, large windows and expansive views back to Brisbane city and into the lower terminal. Spaces in the new lounge include a café area with a self-service food buffet and beverage station, a children’s play area and family space, quiet nooks, business table and bathroom facilities.Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience Carrie Hurihanganui says the opening of the Brisbane Lounge is part of the airline’s commitment to continually improving the customer experience every step of their journey.“We’re proud to offer our customers a seamless transition to the new lounge and we’re certain they will enjoy everything about the space.“From the tailored seating zones, relaxing colour palette and dedicated children’s play spaces, to the enhanced food and beverage offering, the lounge provides a comfortable haven whether customers are travelling for work or leisure.”Designed by award winning US-based firm, Gensler, the new Brisbane Lounge is part of a four year $100 million programme to develop the airline’s lounge network and follows the completion of the Sydney International, Auckland International, Auckland Regional and Invercargill Lounges.The new Air New Zealand Brisbane Lounge is located on the upper level of the airport next to gate 81 and near the escalators and food court and will be open to eligible lounge customers from 16 March. Fly New ZealandSource = Air New Zealand
“In North America, there are currently 17,000 branded hotels, and another 12,000 unbranded, in the economy and midscale segments. The white label approach allows Best Western to tap into this tremendous potential without compromising its brand image,” said David Kong, President & CEO of Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “Currently, many of these hotels have little to no consumer relevance. Their brands have very little potential to drive superior revenue, and the owners are incurring high franchise fees from brands that don’t provide the necessary support, service or value.”SureStay was developed under the AAHOA Fair Franchising Principles, granting owners fair and reasonable early termination provisions with no liquidated damages, allowing them to have a voice through advisory committees, and allowing procurement outside of brand channels. All three brands will be marketed under the SureStay umbrella, with no consumer reference to Best Western Hotels & Resorts. This will allow Best Western to leverage its existing infrastructure while creating a new revenue stream, tapping into the vast opportunities that exist today in the economy space, without compromising the company’s already established position in its current segments.The benefits to ownership groups who choose to join SureStay are extensive. SureStay hotels will have access to Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ preferred OTA commission rates, its scale and global distribution, award-winning desktop and mobile websites and 70 years of industry expertise. Owners will be provided a cloud-based PMS and benefit from a robust digital platform featuring Google 360 virtual reality tours and enhanced SEO and SEM support. The hotels will receive individualized corporate consulting to help manage reviews and social media platforms and property-level sales coaching. In addition, they will receive the support of a global sales team focused on commercial and leisure clients.To qualify for SureStay, hotels will need to achieve and maintain a TripAdvisor score of 3.5 or higher. They will also need to adhere to the SureStay Service Promise, which will be a key point of emphasis.“With SureStay, we are seeking to create a core group of hotels that will differentiate themselves from others in the market, focusing on delivering high quality and outstanding service,” said Kong. “There is no PIP for SureStay hotels. Rather, we are working to create consumer relevance and confidence through unprecedented quality and care. We believe this will really resonate with consumers in these segments.”The first 100 hotels to join SureStay will receive an array of incentives, including waived royalty fees for 5 years, a regional manager to kick-start their sales and marketing efforts, and hotel-level training support. Additionally, 100% of the marketing and technology fee (5%) will be re-invested to help hotels succeed.SureStay opens up a migration path for Best Western hotels who do not wish to pursue its design program. Nearly 20 SureStay letters of intent have already been signed since a soft launch to Best Western members earlier this month. Initial projections for SureStay’s growth have 150 hotels online within three years and 800 by 2026.“We believe SureStay creates a win-win-win situation – the consumers win through superior customer care, the hotels win through superior ROI and the brand wins through a new revenue stream,” said Kong. “Best Western members are firmly behind this concept as they understand the benefits and potential of this strategy. We are gratified by the warm reception and excitement surrounding SureStay, and feel we are off to a tremendous start.”To learn more about development opportunities please Click Here Best Western Hotels & Resortsbook your room here Source = Best Western® Hotels & Resorts Best Western Hotels & ResortsBest Western Hotels and Resorts revolutionises business model unveiling new white label franchiseBest Western® Hotels & Resorts today made a bold move, introducing SureStay Hotels – a revolutionary new ‘white label’ franchise model in the hotel industry. SureStay will operate as a separate subsidiary while plugging hotel owners into the company’s infrastructure and distribution channels.With three distinctive brands – SureStay Hotel (Premium Economy), SureStay Plus Hotel (Lower Midscale) and SureStay Signature Collection (Midscale Soft Brand) – Best Western aims to provide options in the marketplace for franchisees who are disillusioned by one-sided contracts that do not deliver. About Best Western Hotels & ResortsBest Western® Hotels & Resorts headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand with a global network of 4,100* hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Best Western offers seven hotel brands to suit the needs of developers and guests in every market: Best Western®, Best Western Plus®, Best Western Premier®, Executive Residency by Best Western℠, Vīb®, BW Premier Collection® and GLō℠. Now celebrating 70 years of hospitality, Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales and marketing support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 26 million travelers are members of the brand’s award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can be redeemed at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand’s partnerships with AAA/CAA, Minor League Baseball, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western continues to set industry records regarding awards and accolades, including Business TravelNews naming Best Western as the best midscale hotel brand in 2014 and Best Western Plus as the best upper mid-price hotel brand in 2014 and 2015, four consecutive Compuware Best of the Web gold awards for best hotel website, and seven consecutive AAA/CAA Hotel Partner of the Year awards. Nearly 60 percent of Best Western branded hotels earned a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence award in 2015.* Numbers are approximate, may fluctuate, and include hotels currently in the development pipeline.
Skydive the Beach expandingMore exciting news for Skydive the Beach Group.On Tuesday 27th September, Skydive the Beach Group signed a share purchase agreement to buy Raging Thunder in Cairns, Australia. As part of the agreement, Skydive Australia will take full ownership of Raging Thunder on 31st October 2016.Skydive the Beach Group have spent today doing another capital raise through the ASX to get the funds to make the purchase.Raging Thunder Adventures pioneered in Queensland Australia in 1984. Their first commercial trip on the Tully River consisted of 3 passengers. Since then they have expanded their product range to include a series of adventure tours including white water rafting, reef-rafting, sea kayaking, hot air ballooning, and most recently canyoning.An ASX Announcement was made today to advise the market of this news.As you are aware, this is our first acquisition into a market that is not skydiving for the group and we are really excited by what the future looks like. We look forward to the continued growth of the Group and look forward to you coming on the journey with us. Skydive the Beachfor more information, visitSource = Skydive the Beach Group
Source = Six Senses Fiji Reservations are now open for Six Senses Fiji, opening on April 14Reservations are now open for Six Senses Fiji, opening on April 14Reservations are being accepted at Six Senses Fiji following confirmation that the property is on track for its scheduled opening. The hosts of Six Senses Fiji look forward to welcoming guests on April 14 as the brand marks its arrival in the South Pacific.To celebrate the opening, Six Senses Fiji is offering the 5th night free for guests who visit between April 14 to May 31, 2018. And, when booking eight nights, guests who want to completely unwind will receive their 9th and 10th nights free. Whether it’s a mini break or a well-deserved, extended getaway, the team at Six Senses Fiji promises to reward all guests with an extra day or two to lounge by the pool and beach or explore the beautiful surrounds of Malolo island.Known for its idyllic crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, thick tropical forests and excellent climate, Fiji is the ideal year-round destination. Located in a magnificent secluded bay on Malolo Island, Six Senses Fiji features a spectacular private golden sandy beach stretching 650 metres(2100 feet) in length and offers all-tide swimming.Six Senses Fiji will feature 24 one- and two-bedroom pool villas all with private pools, decks and outdoor showers. The property will offer a superb range of culinary and beverage options including two restaurants and a café, plus an outdoor pizzeria and grill and two bar options.A range of water sports from snorkelling to surfing on the nearby reef breaks, as well as a kid’s club called Grow With Six Senses, tennis courts and a weekly activity guide full of cultural and wellness experiences will be available. The Wellness Village at Six Senses Fiji will include a Six Senses Spa,a state-of-the-art gym, an extensive wet area with hot and cold whirlpools, an alchemy bar and an elevated treetop yoga pavilion.Ten private residences of two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom configurations (with another 50 scheduled to be built during phase two of the development) make up Six Senses Fiji’s extraordinary accommodation offering, all with private pools, barbecues, fully equipped kitchens and the choiceof either beachfront, ocean or marina panoramic views. All residences and villas come with a guest experience maker (GEM) and residence guests have the option of a complimentary nanny.Sustainability is reflected throughout the resort which will be 100 per cent solar powered by the largest micro grid in Fiji using Tesla batteries.Easy access is available from Nadi International Airport via a 35-minute private Six Senses speed boat from Denarau Marina and the option of a 10-minute helicopter. The resort also hosts two full-service marinas for guests’ private yachts.Reservations can be made through your travel agent, direct by email at email@example.com or by calling +679 6750 284.
Tahiti Packages On Sale From $1,999ppTahiti Travel Connection (TTC), Australia’s leading travel specialist to the Islands of Tahiti, is excited to announce a wide range of extra special deals with massive discounts for May!Starting at just $1,999pp and offering savings of up to $5,500 for couple, the sale features eight resorts and one cruise scattered across Tahiti, Moorea, Tikehau and of course, romantic Bora Bora. Standout packages include a 7-night holiday in the world-class Le Meridien Bora Bora, starting from $4,199pp, a saving of $5,000 per couple! Bookings must be made before 04/06/2018.All packages are inclusive of accommodation, return international and domestic flights, all required transfers, and daily breakfasts. TTC-exclusive bonuses and extra gifts are also included in some of the deals, such as free lagoon tours, free nights, discounted room rates, a bottle of champagne upon arrival, and more.For full details and bookings contact Tahiti Travel Connection on 1300 858 305, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.tahititravel.com.au.Source = Tahiti Travel Connection
The Global Conference on onboard services conference staged at Hilton Hotel sponsored by Sri Lankan Airlines under the leadership of its new Chairman Rakitha Jayawardena garnered the top 60 delegates from around the world. The Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Rohantha Athukorala announced that given the Marketing Plan launched across the key strategic markets globally in partnership with SLITO and THASL, Sri Lanka Tourism will launch a 200 million rupees new brand building strategy by recruiting a top global communication partner after a lapse of six years. The Chairman said on the direction of Minister of Sports and Tourism Naveen Dissanayake and approved by the Ministry of Sports and Tourism and the high calibre Board of Directors of the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau that this decision was taken.“I thank all who have worked tirelessly in the last four months to launch the search for the new global communication partner,” said Chairman Athukorala.The Chairman went on to say that how many places still try to promote themselves by using uninteresting lists of local attractions, businesses and services whilst the new strategy will be more on the heritage and culture of the country that is strongly linked to the people of huge country. “Let’s see how things pan out but we want the new strategy in place within three months that include production time,” stated Athukorala.
The Indonesian government has taken measures to boost tourist-sector standards to welcome the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).Arief Yahya, the Minister of Tourism of Indonesia said in Jakarta that his ministry had made preparations to welcome the advent of the AEC this year, one of which was the establishment of 28 tourist-business standards. Seven standards had already been established through a ministerial decree, while the remaining 21 standards were still being drafted, he said.The minister added that the Tourism Ministry was presently facilitating a competency certification process for tourism workers, and was assisting the establishment of 12 professional certification institutions for the sector.“Indonesia’s tourism sector has for a while now been making preparations to welcome the implementation of the AEC, especially in terms of readiness of human resources,” said Yahya.Between 2007 and 2015, the ministry had issued 81,627 competency certificates to tourism workers employed in 12 tourist sub-sectors.The minister stated that he was optimistic that in the AEC era, business players in Indonesia’s tourist sector could compete with their competitors from other countries, and could derive great advantage from the new community.
Singapore Airlines has introduced a traditional, Indian set meal known as ‘Ruchi Thali’ for its Business Class passengers travelling between India and Singapore. The menu has been specially curated by renowned Chef Sanjeev Kapoor from Singapore Airlines’ International Culinary Panel.Business Class passengers on Singapore Airlines can now enjoy a three course, Indian meal along with its accompaniments like Chutneys, Ketchumber salad and a pot of yoghurt. Chef Kapoor’s Ruchi Thali has been designed to replicate the plethora of taste, textures and aromas that are synonymous with Indian cuisine. From tenderly braised meats to gently simmered vegetables, the dishes are prepared delicately with the perfect balance of flavours.Paolo Zambrano,Manager – Food & Beverage, Singapore Airlines commented, “We have put together a selection of dishes, which will give Singapore Airlines passengers, a sense of dining at home. Combining the best of seasonal produce and authentic Indian tastes; we hope to provide an unparalleled dining experience, 30,000 feet in the air!”Chef Sanjeev Kapoor added, “Preparing a menu for in-flight dining is a combination of science and creativity. Staying true to the familiar Indian flavours; Ruchi Thali is a hearty meal that travellers can indulge in as well as stay nourished during their travels.”Ruchi Thali is presently being offered on the Mumbai and Delhi flights and would progressively be introduced on other Singapore Airlines India sectors.
in Data, Government, Secondary Market, Servicing First-time claims for unemployment insurance edged down by 2,000 for the week ended February 25, the “”Labor Department””:http://www.dol.gov/ reported Thursday. [IMAGE]Data for the previous week were revised upward, turning a flat report into an increase in initial claims.The revision means claims rose and did not decline during the week used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its month survey for the unemployment rate.Continuing claims, reported on a one-week lag, fell 2,000 to 3,402,000 as the numbers for the previous week were also revised upward.The four-week moving average for initial claims,[COLUMN_BREAK]smoothing the volatile weekly numbers, dropped to 354,000 from 359,500 while the average for continuing claims dropped to 3,444,000 from 3,456,250.The four-week average for first time claims fell to its lowest level since March 2008 while the average for continuing claims dropped to its lowest level since September 2008.The total number of people collecting benefits under emergency programs rose slightly, but the number collecting under extended programs dropped.Against recent data showing just under 13 million people are officially counted as unemployed, the total of people collecting under all programs is just under 7.5 million.Claims have been on a steadily declining trend since September indicating the pace of layoffs has clearly slowed. Continuing claims remained on their two-year long declining trend. Taken together the data indicate that the labor market is steadily, if slowly, improving but that a lot of slack still exists.According to the Labor Department detail, also reported on a one-week lag, the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending February 18 were in Iowa (+438), North Carolina (+285), New Mexico (+81), Missouri (+56), and Washington (+21), while the largest decreases were in Florida (-2,121), Illinois (-1,772), Massachusetts (-1,537), California (-1,452), and Michigan (-1,280). March 1, 2012 407 Views Initial, Continuing Unemployment Claims Fall Again Agents & Brokers Jobs Labor Department Processing Unemployment 2012-03-01 Mark Lieberman Share
in Featured, News, Servicing Share Year in Review: Servicing News 2014-12-31 Tory Barringer From the start of QM to the end of quantitative easing, the past year saw plenty of big news in the mortgage and financial markets. As the new year rolls in, MReport is taking a look at some of the biggest servicing headlines of 2014.CFPB Deputy Draws Fire with ‘Ill-Timed’ Criticisms: If there’s one lesson that CFPB Deputy Director Steven Antonakes learned earlier this year, it’s “know your audience.” In February, the official kicked off a Mortgage Bankers Association event with cutting remarks directed at servicers. In this piece, Five Star Institute president and CEO Ed Delgado responded with comments of his own.CFPB Proposes Publishing Consumer Complaint Narratives: In another controversial move, the bureau proposed in July a new rule that would allow consumers to publish narrative accounts of their servicer complaints in a public-facing database. The reaction from the industry was swift.State Regulators Launch Mortgage Servicing Rights Task Force: In response to the rapid growth of non-bank mortgage servicing companies, a group of state regulators came together to analyze recent developments in that arena and come up with recommendations for a set of standards.CFPB Proposes to Expand Foreclosure Protections: In November, CFPB made news again by rolling out a new set of proposals designed to add to and clarify its earlier servicing rules. Chief among the proposed rules would be a requirement that servicers must provide additional foreclosure protections to borrowers who have already worked through the loss mitigation process previously.Ocwen Reaches Settlement with New York Regulator: After a year of investigations and regulatory actions, Ocwen finally struck a settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services. Among other provisions, the terms included $150 million to be paid for consumer relief efforts—and the resignation of company founder and executive chair Bill Erbey. December 31, 2014 457 Views
January 6, 2015 600 Views Share Ellie Mae Movers & Shakers 2015-01-06 Tory Barringer in Headlines, News Ellie Mae Promotes Corr to CEO In California, mortgage software and services provider Ellie Mae announced the promotion of Jonathan Corr to the position of CEO.The announcement follows a decision by the company’s board of directors to promote Corr, who currently serves as president and COO. In addition, the board voted to add Corr as a director. Both appointments are effective February 1.Corr is a nearly 13-year veteran at Ellie Mae, having joined the firm in 2002. He stepped up into the role of COO in 2011 and was named president in 2013. Before those appointments, he led Ellie Mae’s product management efforts and was chief strategy officer.”I have witnessed the transformation of our company from a start-up to an industry leader,” Corr said. “In my tenure with the company, I’ve gained a deep appreciation of the growth opportunities Ellie Mae has in the mortgage industry and for the breadth of talent and expertise we have to capture those opportunities.”I’m excited to assume this role and look forward to working with the Ellie Mae team to continue to execute our growth strategy,” he added.Corr’s new position will have him filling the shoes of Sig Anderman, who has served as CEO since he founded Ellie Mae in 1997. Anderman will continue to serve the company as executive chairman of its board.”As president and COO, Jonathan has proven to be an outstanding leader and has been instrumental in the growth of the company,” said Sig Anderman. “I am pleased to pass the baton to Jonathan and am confident in his ability to advance our leadership position in the mortgage technology industry.”In a statement, Craig Davis, lead independent director of Ellie Mae’s board, praised Anderman’s leadership over the last 17 years.”Sig had a vision when he founded the company 17 years ago that Ellie Mae would fundamentally change the mortgage industry by automating everything possible in the origination process,” Davis said. “As one of the leading forces for change, Ellie Mae has helped transform the mortgage industry, enabling thousands of mortgage lenders to efficiently produce quality and compliant loans. We are very pleased that Sig will remain active as executive chairman.”
While expectations for the South African citrus export forecast were high at the Citrus Growers Association’s (CGA) summit early last month, with the nation predicted to send a record 137 million boxes overseas, some in the industry have warned that exports may be lighter than previously anticipated.Sunday Rivers Citrus Company’s CEO Hannes de Waal told FreshFruitPortal.com: “Take the official estimate given at the summit and reduce that number by five million cartons because, already, we are late, and some problems have started, giving fruit lower estimates on some categories.“Whether the Western Cape is totally out of the drought, we are not certain at this point. So … a lack of rain may possibly bring volumes down a little bit all over the country,” De Waal explains.Concerns about less-than-favorable growing conditions were previously mentioned by CGA CEO Justin Chadwick in early March, who said: “In the north of the country, there have been dry and hot conditions; this was also the case in the Eastern Cape and so there will be some impact.”Still, Chadwick had added that harvests in the south of the country continued to hold promise, saying: “The advantage of the widespread of growing regions is that the southern African region always meets the required volume and quality.”Yet, De Waal believes things have changed in the last few weeks: “With what I see in South Africa, I don’t think the supply is going to be as strong as we may have thought a month ago. It seems to me that we’re still in that dry cycle, in a drought cycle and we already see that crops are lighter on the first varieties that come out than what people estimated.”De Waal says it is unclear how production volumes would likely compare to 2018, but adds: “Whether we get to the volumes that we estimated at the summit, I can’t say.” April 17 , 2019 “We had a little bit of good rain just prior to the summit, so that made us very very optimistic but subsequent to that, the last month, again, it’s been dry. Not much has happened.”Another factor that could reduce the initial season forecast is the adjusted harvesting timings. “The start of the season was delayed roughly ten days,” says a representative from Everseason.De Waal’s estimate was even later. He said the season’s start would likely be “two or three weeks later than what we thought it would be or expected”.Speaking about navels in particular, he added: “If we have a very long Spanish season already, most of us are hanging a little bit longer than what we would’ve wanted…and that will already reduce the crop that comes down.”Regardless of these challenges, new production areas in the country could offset any reduction resulting from a slow start or climatic issues, according to the sources.The Everseason representative says he expects that South African volumes will end up being higher than last season, explaining: “It’s mainly due to the new production coming in.”De Waal also remarks on the rise in plantings, saying: “There’s a lot of growth in South Africa because people have planted a lot of trees, especially mandarins and lemons”.However, he adds that an issue facing South African citrus is unfavorable yields: “The yields on your already established orchards are not what they’re supposed to be, and this is what makes your estimates very difficult. You’ve got new trees bearing and new fruit coming in but due to the fact that it’s new trees and fruit, your pack-outs are never very high and then…it’s difficult to estimate exactly what’s going to happen.” Costa Rica expects lower pineapple, banana exports … U.S.: Trump says “great patriot farmers” will bene … Australia: Griffith University gives papayas a tas … TR4 confirmed in Colombia as country declares “nat … You might also be interested in
CambodiadfatSmartraveller DFAT has updated its Smartraveller advice for travellers currently in Cambodia.On 16 November 2017, Cambodia’s Supreme Court is expected to finalise a case to dissolve the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). Expect a heightened security presence in Phnom Penh around this time, starting from 15 November. Access to popular tourist sites, including the Royal Palace and riverside, may be impacted so adjust your travel plans accordingly. Monitor the media, follow the instructions of local authorities and avoid protests and demonstrations. The level of our advice has not changed. Exercise normal safety precautions in Cambodia.